Wednesday, May 27, 2015

[Review] A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

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A Court of Thorns and Roses
Sarah J. Maas
[A Court of Thorns and Roses#1]
YA Fantasy Romance
Published: May 2015 (Bloomsury Children's)
Format: digital
Pages: 416
Rating: 5 of 5
 
When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Warning: Spoilers!!

With all the hype surrounding A Court of Thorns and Roses, I was sure deep in my bones that I was going to dislike it. If you know me, you know I hate unwarranted hype. How wrong I was. Although, due to this unsettling I had, it allowed me to go into this with low expectations. I was prepared for a typical fairytale retelling. Nothing all that special.

And yet, here I sit, my love for this book off the charts.

Also, a secret: I love fae books. I don't have many in my arsenal, but I soak them in when I read them.

The writing of this book is so beautiful. I wish I could do it justice by talking about it, but alas my words are nothing to amount to the great detail that went into every shining sentence that fills the pages of aCoTaR. I have a thing for flowery writing, but don't let me scare you. There is a perfect balance. It's never too much and never too little. Sarah J. Maas found the thin line between "please give me more" and overboard. The fact that this is a retelling hardly seems to matter. The parallels between the original Beauty and the Beast and this are vastly different from each other. I find more similarities with East of the Sun, West of the Moon, in all the best ways possible!

The characters within A Court of Thorns and Roses are all very diverse from each other. Fayre is strong willed and stubborn and a leading heroine that I began to really like. There were moments that had me shaking my head at her actions and her stupidity. She didn't seem to regard other people's advice when it would best benefit her, but she dealt with the consequences. Overall, though, she struck me as someone that thought about others before herself. She was selfless and tried her best to do the right thing and this is something I always appreciate in a main character. As for Tamlin, he embodied the idea of a warrior turned noble. His anger was quick to rise, but under it all, his intentions were pure. He was complex in nature. Any mysteriousness that he had, I don't blame on him. He wasn't allowed to talk about his curse, so it stopped him from saying a lot of things. The other characters were all their own sort. Everyone had their own reasons and motives to drive them. Nobody felt flat.

The love between Fayre and Tamlin was intense, like a blazing fire that was slow to burn. The gradual increase up to their love was fun to read and the way they would slowly reveal to each other parts of themselves was endearing. Through it all, it was obvious that Tamlin wanted what was best for Fayre and did all he could to make her happy and comfortable. I have myself worried that Rhysand was going to be a love interest. I am not going to be happy at that point, if it happens. It will make the love between Tamlin and Fayre seem shallow and the sacrifice that she made all be for nothing.

I honestly appreciated that the "real" plot didn't get speed until about half way through the book. It was supposed to be hidden from Fayre and it wasn't her world to think about. Her resolve to help Tamlin was one of the only reasons she was involved at all. I have to say that I liked the world building as well. There wasn't an information dump thrown at you, for the most part. There were two parts that had my head reeling from everything I was reading, but after reading through it again, I found I comprehended it fairly well. The variety in fae creatures was interesting. Some creatures I recognized from other things I have read or games I have played, which makes me wonder where everyone is getting this information on magical creatures. I want in. (Not that I've looked very hard)

Overall, I would highly recommend this book. Like, you should be reading it right now. I want to reread it already. (sidenote: I painted my nails red in honor of the cover)

TL;DR

Good:
+ Characters!! Very diverse and unique from each other
+ Fairytale retelling w/o falling into the same storyline
+ Beautiful writing
+ Believable love progression
+ Pacing of plot

Bad:
- future book scares me

Final Rating: 5 of 5!!